Friday, February 27, 2015

With Pleasure - Amrita Waterfalls Museletter March/April 2015

***MATURE CONTENT****PARENTAL ADVISORY****
Disclaimer: I was not able to print and proofread this before sending, so please to forgive all typological and grammatical errors. Thanks!
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With Pleasure - Amrita Waterfalls Museletter

by Cassendre Xavier (writing as Amrita Waterfalls)

March/April 2015

TABLE CONTENTS

A) GREETINGS
1) TIPS FOR ONLINE DATING & CRUISING
2) ON PEGGING
3) SLUT SUPPLEMENTS & HEALTH TIPS
4) NEW! MUSIC & RELATIONSHIP WORKSHOPS 
5) COMING SOON! AFFIRMATIONS FOR SURVIVORS: SEXUALITY
Z) CATALOG & CONTACT

CONTENTS OF TABLE

A) GREETINGS
Dear Sexy People,

Thank you for your patience in hearing from me. 
I am, among other things, a multi-media healing artist who is also reclaiming and celebrating the sexuality in my life and inspiring others to do so as well. I believe there's no room for guilt and shame anywhere, especially not in sexuality - one of our greatest natural gifts. I also believe there are many healing, redeeming and even magickal qualities to sex when it's expressed freely, lovingly, and joyously. Part of my life purpose is to share my journey in various aspects, and this museletter is the sexual one.
The last time I wrote an Amrita Waterfalls blog was January 2014. I appreciate your interest and sticking around until I was ready to share again. Glad to be here. :)

As a multi-media healing artist I am always encouraging folks to "start where you are". Take baby steps. Do what you can, now. Don't wait.
 Well, it's been over a year since I've written anything on this blog. 
I have so much to do. But I always have so much to do. I will write what I can instead of waiting any longer.

Let me talk about pegging.
Do you know why I want to talk about pegging a little bit? Just because many months ago I said I would. I would also like to talk about the supplements that keep one healthy not only while one is dating expansively but also during the winter and flu season.

I also want to talk about fear, because it's a big part of my path, not only in recovering and reclaiming my natural sexuality, but also in talking about it.
 Thank goodness I'm a black woman artist who is not running for office, because there is almost no wrong I can do with a good head on my shoulders that won't not only not harm me but actually help me (case in point the rockin' Ms. Vanessa Williams). 
 Thanks to the following wimmin for modeling ways to be openly highly sexual in healthy ways, and still have children and/or families both of choice and of origin: Nina Hartley, Annie Sprinkle, Kamala Devi, Betty Dodson, Carlin Ross and Barbara Carrellas.

And now, on to the fun!

1) TIPS FOR ONLINE DATING & CRUISING
a) Choose websites not only from what's suggested by friends, but according to your personality and own preferences, habits, and limits. Just because tons of poly and kinky folks are having mucho success meeting their significant others at The Ok Cupids doesn't mean it's for you, especially if the idea of filling out 80 pages of questions raises your ire and heckles.You may do better at The Craigslists, especially if you're a good writer and you know exactly what you want and don't want - you can write the perfect ad and attract highly compatible partners. If you're particularly kinky and wish to choose from a pool of like-mindeds, FetLife may be for you. There are good and bad characteristics in many sites out there, but learn to differentiate not only from the likes of them but also from the generic ones, like one so-called "poly" site a recent hookup of mine was using to no avail. He instead found the Mindful Polyamory Meetup and went to their gathering on 2/25 and already made at least one friend. And, of course, this town being so tiny of poly-kinks, I not only know but like and work closely with the persun he met. I love my community!
b) Create a completely new and different email address than all your others. With a new and different email address, you won't by found online. Anyone can find most anything about you by copying and pasting your email address into a web search engine, or even on The Facebooks and The Twitters. Unless you have very mild ads out there, it wouldst behooveth thyself to create a new and different email address so you can at least begin from a completely private slate.
c) Move very quickly from step to step. I like to trade pics right away and then voice verify right away and meet right away. I've learned that anything that lags means there's a glitch in the connection or the guy's a joker, fraud, or time-waster.
d) Use every resource available to you for inner security. I've learned to not only rely on common sense but also develop my gut instincts, which took some time. Watching detective and true crime TV shows also help, surprisingly enough because I see how much value is given to the gut instinct, hunches, and feelings. I also use divine guidance, and have received messages, which I've learned to heed. For instance, once I got a message from the angels that a particular guy was a "Rapist". The word appeared in front of his face (in my imagination). I asked the angels, "Is he going to really rape me?" And I got, "No." I was horny and met him anyway. Well, sure enough not only was it one of my worst, if not the worst date I've ever had, but it had elements of danger in it and I damn sure felt raped afterwards. But he hadn't laid a finger on me. When you get an inner signal to stay away, do it, even if the damage will not be physical or as "bad" as you were warned it would be. Another time, I got a divine message someone else was a "Deceiver" and it turned out that he had quite a bit of drug addiction in his very recent past. I wasn't told this until after our 3rd date or so but the entire time I was exhausted with his erratic behaviors stemming from over a decade of crack cocaine use and mental illness he chose to reject diagnosis and treatment of. Throw in some serious Christianity-related influences and talkings about our "lust" and his "demons" along with the demons that were in the world... etc. Anyway, we spent more time misunderstaning and arguing with each other than we did sharing pleasure. When you practice receiving such signals and learn to heed them, you can avoid these snafus.
e) Have fun! You already know a lot of the generic safety practices (including knowing self-defense, etc.). And enough years have passed now that online dating and even cruising is a lot safer than it used to be. Not only are folks open about meeting there, but many are even marrying. There's no more a strong taboo nor stigma around meeting people online for sex and companionship. It's just the love and care you bring to it that makes the diff. 

2) ON PEGGING
I'm a little annoyed that this thing has gotten so popular! I mean a show on Comedy Central the other day had two young women exploring it and then an older couple doing it. What's this world coming to when chyks can fuck deuds in the ass willy nilly and it makes no never mind to the general mainstream public?! I preferred The Olden Days when we who induldged were sexual revolutionaries, just this side of queer and sitting on the fence of so-called straight. I liked when guys didn't know about it and I would introduce them to it. I would be their teacher. I would help improve their prostate health with digital massage. Or I'd scare the beejeeziz out of them with the mere mention of male anal penetrative actions.
I'm now 46. When I was in my mid-20s I was first getting a hankerin' to be inside a boy butt. I felt all kinds of guilty about it, of course, because nowhere in my mother's Cosmo magazines had there ever been any mention of boys who like girls who like to play with boys butts.
 Now, don't get me wrong, when I look at a guy, my first thought isn't, "I wanna get in there!" But being very into hand sex of all kinds, mine and others, and enjoying exploring my partners' various orifices, I am very into that. 

Some surprising benefits of pegging (also called "strap-on"), etc: include:

a) Improved mutual health. Using a strap on that I'm wearing is sometimes the only cardiovascular exercise I get all week. It's often the only time I break a sweat. It's good exercise for the pumper.

b) Prostate massage, while also pleasurable, is actually very healthy for the male-type in question.

c) Similar to the way women's breast lumps are often first noticed by their partners (who feel their breasts more than they feel their own), if there's anything going on in there, your butthole-exploring partner will find it. 

Tips for enjoying butt play with boys (if you're a girl / or if you're a boy who likes girls who like to play with boy butts):

*Keep lots of condoms around. They are great because they make toy clean up that much easier.
*Don't be skimpy with the lube. I like to be very liberal with the stuff, although I also don't like to waste, so it's a happy medium. No one likes the ouchies, and anal tissue is much thinner and more fragile than the girl-hole kind.
*Clip your fingernails short and wear gloves. Non-latex is best to ensure you don't run into any allergy issues with a new partner.
*Go super slow and talk during it. I like to announce before I do anything, unless my partner doesn't like that.
*Thank you lucky, lucky stars you've found each other. As common as it might be amoung poly-kinky folk this kind of thing is still not generally known about or practiced among the typical boy-girl sex set (as far as I know. And quite frankly I could be completely off my gourd as I have kinda sorta NEVER been a member of that set!) Be glad you each found a partner to play safe with in this way.

3) SLUT SUPPLEMENTS & HEALTH TIPS
If you are dating or cruising (having sex with multiple partners), here are some things you can do to minimize catching so much as a cold, as I avoided during this entire winter and flu season.
a) Avoid kissing. I know, that's a weird one, but I've never been into kissing much, and even with being bi and poly my entire adult dating life I still have only had 3 primary/serious partners (boyfriend-girlfriend types) who I kissed well with. So I really can do without it. And I'm very lucky because I believe swapping spit is one of the very best ways to get sick, and I avoid it like, ahem, the plague, if you'll excuse the pun!
b) Engage in the lowest risk sex possible. Again, I'm a lucky one in part because my favorite kind and primary sex is very low risk and for the other stuff I've grown accustomed to the always latex-present barriers my generation were trained as being mandatory. You never miss what you never tried, and for the very longest time, I hadn't. I've gone bareback literally one time with a partner, and that was about 3 years ago (at age 43-ish) and it may likely be years before that happens again. IF it ever happens again! - Tip: Vasectemies ROCK!)
c) Consume ridiculous amounts of garlic. You can learn tricks for minimizing odor, such as mincing (NOT chewing) it and swallowing it with teaspoons of peanut butter, as I saw a lovely older black woman demonstrating on The YouTubes. Other tips: Drink lots of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar in your water. These are natural deodorizers.Use a straw to protect your tooth enamel from the acids of both. Daily floss, scrape your tongue (a spoon will do if you don't have a proper tongue scraper), rinse and gargle with a 50/50 dilution of hydrogen peroxide and water. I eat and chew at least 3 large cloves of garlic with each savory meal I have at home, like jalepenos, and with all I do to minimize the odor, I've gotten good reviews on my up close breath. I also chew whole cloves as a healthy and natural breath freshener. At my CD release concert recently, at least 3 people commented favorably on my clove breath - one even asked me if I was wearing "fenugreek" as a fragrance!
d) Eat lots of fresh, raw greens. Greens have a ton of vitamins, minerals, and other benefits including cholorophyll, which is a natural deodorizer, too. 
e) Eat lots of fat-free plain yogurt. If you don't want the dairy, find non-dairy live active culture foods. The live active cultures improve your immune system along with the added benefit of regulating your digestive cycle as well.
f) Wash frequently but NOT with anti-bacterial soaps and detergents! Remember your body has plenty of disease fighting GOOD bacteria, and when you wash with triclosan (commonly found in products like Dial soap) you are killing your bodies natural resources to keep you healthy. I carry my own soap to wash my hands, or for last minute sleepovers, my body, just in case I'm at the home of someone who stocks "Kills Everything Dead" products in the shower stall and sink. All you need to stay clean enough and wash away bacteria very regularly. I'm a big fan of frequent handwashing, but I'm not obsessive with it, and I keep my fingers away from my mouth and eyes, unless I know I've just washed them.
g) Eat what you're attracted to. If you're attracted to raw natural coconut that's very good, too, because that has lots of natural antimicrobials, and your body must need that. 
h) Take Vitamin C supplements. I take about 1,500 mgs daily, and don't worry about it, it's water soluble.
i) Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. These are much more effective than any supplements because your body understands and assimilates them the best and most quickly.
j) Reduce stress. Reduce stress. Reduce stress. (Meditate, masturbate, exercise, sleep, whatever. Just reduce stress.)

4) NEW! MUSIC & RELATIONSHIP WORKSHOPS 
a) Music: My new CD "Hope" was released on February 13, 2015 to great reviews, including this lovely article from Philadelphia Weekly editor-in-chief Stephen H. Segal: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/music/live-music/Cassendre_Xavier__Hope-291414101.html [Some of the article: “A gorgeously minimalist showcase for Xavier’s throaty Tracy-Chapman-via-Dar-Williams sincerity,Hope assembles catchy, original acoustic ballads, like the sweetly spiritual “Forever Home” and the plaintive title track, “Hope (Find Me This Way)” alongside a surprisingly eclectic roster of well-conceived covers. None of us may have been looking for the raw emotional truth hidden inside J.Lo’s pre-fab plastic single “If You Had My Love,” but somehow Xavier finds it and redeems it; likewise, her mellow retrofit of Green Day’s “When I Come Around” into folksinger idiom is oddly comfortable. The high point is her transcendent rendition of Dylan’s “Boots of Spanish Leather”—a song about the slow fadeout of an expired romance, but Xavier’s take is upbeat and life-affirming, reminding us that goodbyes need not be tragic when they can honor and celebrate the beauty that’s come before while looking with hope and faith toward the horizon.
There are 14 tracks of original and cover songs featuring myself on vocals and guitar, and my Grammy-nominated producer and musician brother Giz Matic Xavier's co-production.
By March 5 the CD will be available for purchase in disc or download format at my CD Baby storefront: http://cdbaby.com/all/cassendre.

If you'd like to order the disc now, you can send a check or money order (preferred) for $15 postpaid per "Hope" CD in the domestic USA, payable to:

Cassendre Xavier
4530 Baltimore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143-3705

Your first and last name____________________________________________

Your email address_________________________________

Your phone number________________________________

The first and last name of the person the CD will be mailed to:__________________________________

Shipping street address_________________________________________

City, State, and Zip Code_______________________________________________

Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery.  Contact: cxmusic(at)gmail(dot)com or reply to this message. Thank you!

b) Relationship workshops: I presented my workshop Soulmate Attraction for the Rest of Us: Dating & Relationships for the Poly, Recovering, Survivor & Tantric at the 10th Annual Poly Living Conference in Philadelphia this past weekend (Feb 20-22) and the same workshop at Sisterspace Weekend in Darlington, Maryland (September 5-7, 2014). I have been writing the "Soulmate Attraction for the Rest of Us" series at Wisdom Magazine's online edition since 2011, and am working the forthcoming book Soulmate Attraction for the Rest of Us: Dating & Relationships for the Poly, Recovering, Survivor & Tantric. My next SARU article will be posted at Wisdom Magazine on March 1 (under "This Month's Article's") and is called "Soulmate Attraction for the Rest of Us: Supplying Your Own Needs". You can see all my Wisdom Magazine articles at http://tinyurl.com/CXWisdom

My SARU writer/presenter bio: 
Cassendre Xavier has been writing the "Soulmate Attraction for the Rest of Us" series at Wisdom Magazine's online edition since 2011. She is the author of the forthcoming book Soulmate Attraction for the Rest of Us: Dating & Relationships for the Poly, Recovering, Survivor & Tantric, and has presented her workshop of the same title at Sisterspace Weekend in Darlington, Maryland (September 5-7, 2014) and the 10th Annual Poly Living Conference in Philadelphia 2015 (February 20-22). Cassendre has been living with bipolar depression her whole life, been a member of Philadelphia's LGBT, polyamorous, and New Age communities since 1991, and from 1996-1999 facilitated Sisters Healing Together, a peer support group for women survivors of incest with a special focus on compulsive overeating, which she also founded, at the William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia. Cassendre is the creator of the popular Affirmations for Survivors guided meditation audio series (“Self-Love” and “Spirituality” were released in 2007; “Sexuality” and “Life Skills” are forthcoming in Spring 2015). For more information, please visit http://cassEndrExavier.com.

5) COMING SOON! AFFIRMATIONS FOR SURVIVORS: SEXUALITY
As stated in my SARU bio above:
Cassendre is the creator of the popular Affirmations for Survivors guided meditation audio series (“Self-Love” and “Spirituality” were released in 2007; “Sexuality” and “Life Skills” are forthcoming in Spring 2015). For more information, please visit http://cassEndrExavier.com.

The Affirmation for Survivors guided meditation CDs are only available directly from me:

If you'd like to order the disc now, you can send a check or money order (preferred) for $20 postpaid per CD ("SelfLove", and "Spirituality" respectively) in the domestic USA, payable to:

Cassendre Xavier
4530 Baltimore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143-3705

Your first and last name____________________________________________

Your email address_________________________________

Your phone number________________________________

The first and last name of the person the CD will be mailed to:__________________________________

Shipping street address_________________________________________

City, State, and Zip Code_______________________________________________

Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery. Contact: cxmusic(at)gmail(dot)com or reply to this message. Thank you!


Z) CATALOG & CONTACT

a) The Cassendre Xavier Music Gallery: http://cdbaby.com/all/cassendre
b) Ebooks and print books: http://cxbooks.eventbrite.com
c) Guided meditations (see above listing for Affirmations for Survivors series), and see the free audios at http://tinyurl.com/CXMeditations 
d) iTunes storefront: http://tinyurl.com/CXiTunes
e) Amazon song singles page: http://amzn.to/1xrklOW

CONTACT:
Music Booking/Orders/Inquiries: cxmusic(at)gmail(dot)com or reply to this message. 
Workshops/Literary Inquiries:cxwriting(at)gmail(dot)com or reply to this message. 
Thank you!


[Images: "How to Wear a Crystal" series, from the forthcoming book of the same title, by CX. "She Got Legs" by Sarah Stefana Smith, taken at the Black Women's Arts Festival 2009 and used on the back of my 2009 musical CD "Capable of Love".]

-- 
Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
“renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur”
(musician/writer/actress/fine artist)
Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). 
Official website: http://cassendrexavier.com


(c) Copyright 2015 by Cassendre Xavier (aka Amrita Waterfalls). All rights reserved. Feel free to share this responsibly, including the following contact URL: http://cassendrexavier.com

Leonard Nimoy Lived Long & Prospered

RIP Leonard Nimoy (March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015), renaissance man (actor, film director, poet, singer and photographer), humyn, being. I never met him, but he photographed someone I met, the late Heather MacAllister (far right in image, who was partnered with an ex of mine) in his book "The Full Body Project." LLAP, and let art rule.

--

-- 
Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
“renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur”
(musician/writer/actress/fine artist)
Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). 
Visit the Cassendre Xavier Music Gallery at CD Baby: http://cdbaby.com/all/cassendre 
Visit Cassendre's iTunes storefront: http://tinyurl.com/CXiTunes
Visit Cassendre's Amazon song singles page: http://amzn.to/1xrklOW
Official website: http://cassendrexavier.com

Alvin Ailey on the Brain & Heart

Lately I've been having a very hard time with my bipolar. At the same time I've been enjoying relationships (or should I just say "relations" and/or "company") and being creative and more productive with my various arts-related projects. 
 I don't know if it's because I'm a black queer artist and leader in my various communities (arts, poly, recovering, etc.), but I identify a lot with Alvin Ailey, who was also same-gender-loving, black, artistic and "directorial" as I like to say, and suffered from bipolar disorder. 
 Like me, he grew up feeling uncomfortable with his sexuality (I didn't fully claim mine until I was 38) and while he "looked good on paper" work-wise, his personal life, due to his mental illness, was often a piping hot mess.
 My sister is a dance scholar and choreographer, and during one of the many stints I lived with her, I read one of her many books on dance. This one was a thick hardcover biography about Alvin Ailey. I've thought of this book often in recent months, and just in general feeling like Alvin is with me, giving me strength, reminding me to hold on, to express myself, to live, and enjoy company, all while trying to keep my work active and get my messes straightened. 
 I believe our ancestors are around us and we don't have to be related to those we identify with. Catholics have their patron saints, and I believe we can use our imagines to whatever end we wish that brings us comfort.
 I also believe folks who go on ahead of us are there to show us lessons we can avoid. 
 So, I'm grateful for the model and inspiration of Alvin Ailey's work and life, and I feel stronger knowing I am not alone.
 Please enjoy these images of the man, the artist, and look into his sad and gifted eyes full of power.

Interesting article about Alvin Ailey: http://www.lavendermagazine.com/archives/uncategorized/alvin-ailey-gay-african-american-dance-pioneer

--

-- 
Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
“renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur”
(musician/writer/actress/fine artist)
Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). 
Visit the Cassendre Xavier Music Gallery at CD Baby: http://cdbaby.com/all/cassendre 
Visit Cassendre's iTunes storefront: http://tinyurl.com/CXiTunes
Visit Cassendre's Amazon song singles page: http://amzn.to/1xrklOW
Official website: http://cassendrexavier.com


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thurs/12th-Women's Writing...Series presents Poet & Painter Amor La Luna

Thursday, March 12, 7:00pm. 
The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series presents Poet & Painter Amor La Luna
Location:
Big Blue Marble Bookstore in West Mt. Airy
551 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119 
Phone: 215-844-1870 

The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002) is a nurturing environment that celebrates women in the craft of multi-genre writing. Hosted by Series founder Cassendre Xavier, it always includes a Q&A and Mixed-Gender Open Mic! To request to feature, please visit http://WomensWritingSeries.org, or email a 200 word writer's bio plus pic and public contact info (website/blog) to cxwriting(at)gmail(dot)com, or message our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WomensWritingSeries. Snail mail: CX/Women's Writing Series, 4530 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19143-3705.
Amor La Luna is a Spoken Word Artist, Visual Artist, Chef/Owner of 'Venus Mocha', Event Coordinator and Co-Owner of an open mic event "711 Cosmic Xpressions", and Independent Videographer and Creator of a low-budget show "Rebirth TV" on YouTube. Her poetry entrances the open mind with subjects on: anything from love and perceptions of human identity to social injustice in the world. Amor's introvert nature allows her to explore deep within in order to openly convey her passionate sentimentsand inspire a change in how people look at the world. Currently she is collaborating with another artist Ebony Zuudia in the downtown location of Wilmington, Delaware on a monthly open mic event they formed together, "711 Cosmic Xpressions". It's an Open Mic event that gives Artists, Musicians, and Visionaries a spot to inspire and experience Art and Poetry with an old-skool vibe. There is talk about bringing that Open Mic experience to the Philadelphia area as early as this April! Amor La Luna has show-cased two artworks in Philadelphia, PA, an oil and acrylics painting and a beaded mask. She has considered giving poetry a back-seat so she can focus on painting again, as well as other art projects she is currently working on. She has graced the mic in cities such as D.C., Wilmington, and Philadelphia. As for Rebirth TV, a show that gives exposure to Black Culture and Black experiences, she's hoping to bring it to dvd by 2016. For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/AmorLaLuna
 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Black Women's Arts Festival News - March

THE BLACK WOMEN'S ARTS FESTIVAL NEWSLETTER 
MARCH 2015

Launched on February 25, 2015

CONTENTS:
1) GREETINGS FROM THE FOUNDER/DIRECTOR
2) OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS OF THE BWAF DEBUTED
3) FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
4) NEW BWAF SERVICE: AUDIO RECORDING & SELF-PUBLISHING 
5) PROMOTE WITH US FOR FREE
6) VOLUNTEERS WANTED
7) STAY IN TOUCH WITH US

=========================

1) GREETINGS FROM THE FOUNDER/DIRECTOR
Hello, folks!
Glad to be addressing you again, since our previous newsletter in October. In those past few months I've run into a lot of people inquiring about the next BWAF, and I will address those questions here.
I am also excited to report new projects and developments at BWAF Philly.
 Thanks for staying in touch and have a great day!

Cassendre Xavier
Founder & Executive Director of the Black Women's Arts Festival (Est. 2003)

2) OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS OF THE BWAF DEBUTED
Some of you may recall that official holidays of the Black Women's Arts Festival were announced in May 2013 (exactly 10 years after the first BWAF Philly event launched in May of 2003). Since the holidays are in February, this month is when they debuted.
International Day of Black Women in the Arts was, and is every year: February 7.
International Week... February 7 - 13.
International Month...February 1-28 or 29.
It was very exciting to post these on Twitter and Facebook and see folks' energetic and positive responses.
But the highlight was when Sheila "Brownielocks" Cicchi accepted and posted the dates onto her wonderful website Holidays and Lots of Other Fun from Brownielocks & The 3 Bears. (February 2015 on that site, where you can see our BWAF holidays, is here: February Holidays 2015 (Official) Bizarre, Crazy, Silly, Bizarre, Unknown Holidays & Observances by Brownielocks..


This was very exciting because we've been trying to get our holidays on that site for a couple of years. Part of what was required was having a "real" website, which we're on hiatus on for the time being until we have the people power to maintain a full website. For now, our various social networking sites are sufficient. Also, I submitted a letter to an official Calendar Dates company Brownielocks works with, but then I moved before receiving the reply to process my application to be listed in that official holidays book.
 Recently I decided I'd just create my own submission and send it to Sheila (who I've corresponded with and whose website I've enjoyed and referred to for years). All she wants to know is that it's an official entity, and being that there's a record online of the existence of BWAF events over the years, that made my proposal accepted.
 The only small glitch is our holidays are sometimes confused with another organization similar to BWAF, and the holidays also somehow confuse folks into thinking they're dates of our actual events.
 I have considered both changing the titles of our holidays as well as stressing repeatedly that they are holidays and not festival event dates. I decided not to do either at this time. 
These are our holidays, and we encourage you to enjoy celebrating them. every year in February. 
There are 3 more days left this month to celebrate International Month of Black Women in the Arts - an official holiday of the Black Women's Arts Festival!

3) FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: When is the next BWAF happening in Philadelphia?
A: This year. The dates were set long ago by our venue(s) and we are waiting until the proper time to release the date. It's too early now and we don't want to dilute the announcement by releasing it before folks have the interest in acting on the info.

Q: In previous news announcements, you mentioned BWAFs outside of Philadelphia. Do you have updates on that?
A: There have been developments, however, similar to not announcing BWAF Philly 2015 plans prematurely, we're planning to announce other BWAFs after BWAF Philly 2015 is either announced or well under way.

Q: What is the best way to reach the organizers, etc., of BWAF Philly?
A: Facebook (either messaging Cassendre's profile, or the BWAF profile, or BWAF fan page). Posting to our fan page or group timelines will not be seen or acknowledged by any of the organizers anytime soon, and unfortunately, our email address receives a flurry of junk mail too difficult to keep current with given our current number of volunteers.

Q: When will submission info be released about BWAF Philly 2015? 
A: At the same time or very soon after the dates and venues are announced.

4) NEW BWAF SERVICE: AUDIO RECORDING & SELF-PUBLISHING 
I am very excited to announce that as of now you can hire BWAF to assist you in releasing an audio recording (digital MP3/CD) and/or self-publish a chapbook/ebook/print book of your own!
Between myself (Cassendre Xavier) and my brother Giz Matic Xavier (and our partners and resources both in Philadelphia and Newark Delaware) we have have released albums and released publications of various kinds together and with other artists since 2002. 
 My brother is a Grammy-nominated record producer and musician who also does recording engineering, graphic design, and photography. I am a Cassendre Xavier | CD Baby who also self-publishes.
 We are able to assist you in releasing musical, spiritual, spoken word, guided meditation audio recordings as well as publish your first chapbook or "real" book with your own ISBN, using a service like Amazon's Create Space.
 We can work with almost any budget, on a sliding-scale basis, even considering bartering of services, such as administrative and virtual assistance in trade.
 Your projects would be your own - not under any "label" that is BWAF.
 Basically, if there's anything you'd like to do in recording or publishing, and you'd like to talk with us about taking the next step, and can work in Philadelphia or Newark Delaware, please contact us via Facebook messaging or reply to this message. Remember: Posting on our FB timelines will likely not be seen by us.
We look forward to hearing from you!

5) PROMOTE WITH US FOR FREE
You can post your news at our Black Women's Arts Festival Official Fan Page.
Please add BWAFphilly@yahoogroups.com to your news announcement list, and they'll appear at the official BWAF Philly Yahoo Group/mailing list: Yahoo! Groups .


6) VOLUNTEERS WANTED
Would you like to assist in the planning stages of BWAF Philly 2015?
Volunteer organizers are wanted to serve in the following capacities:
a) Volunteer Coordinator
b) Promotions
c) Advertising
d) Publishing 
e) Sidelines
g) Graphic Design

If interested, please message us on Facebook or reply to this message.


7) STAY IN TOUCH WITH US
Follow us on Twitter: @BWAFphilly / http://twitter.com/BWAFphilly
Join our official email list by sending a blank email to:
View our message archives at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BWAFphilly
Official URL: http://BWAFphilly.org 
Postal mail: CX/BWAF, 4530 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19143-3705